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by Bimal Mirwani Tuesday 23 August 2016
Australia left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc is a bowler that has become feared by batsman all around the world and rightly so as he owns the record for the fastest bowler to take 100 ODI wickets.
Starc achieved the feat in the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday when he dismissed Dhananjaya de Silva. The 26-year-old took just 52 ODIs to reach the milestone, beating the previous record of 53 ODIs held by Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq.
In celebration of his incredible achievement, let’s relive five of Starc’s greatest spells in the 50-over format.
Let’s get things started in the second ODI of Starc’s career. Sri Lanka already held an unassailable 2-0 lead coming into the third ODI in Brisbane, but little did they know that Starc would make his presence felt in destructive style. Starc, who was playing in his first ODI on home soil, not only claimed his first ODI wicket, but also carved through the tourists’ middle order and finished with four wickets to his name. Quite an impressive feat considering the circumstances.
The first five-for is something all bowlers treasure for the rest of their careers and Starc needed to wait only until his ninth ODI to see five wickets next to his name. Starc wreaked havoc on Pakistan’s top and middle order, thus guiding his side to a four-wicket win in the first ODI in Sharjah.
Taking a five-wicket haul in an ODI is a hard enough feat, but how about doing it in back-to-back games. Well, for a man like Starc, he made it look easy against the West Indies as he speared through their batting line-up twice in a matter of days in February 2013.
He began with a spell of five for 20 in the first ODI at the WACA in Perth, which saw the West Indies skittled out for 70, and followed that up with figures of five for 32 in the second ODI at the same venue.
Starc’s performance saw him become only the third Australian bowler after Gary Gilmour and Ryan Harris to pick up two successive five-wicket hauls.
2015 was one of Starc’s greatest with ball and he started it off in style as he took six wickets in an ODI for the first time in his career in the second ODI against India in Melbourne. India opener Rohit Sharma put up an impressive fight with his knock of 138, but it was Starc who stole the spotlight with his then career-best figures in the 50-over format of the game.
Just over a month after taking six wickets against India, Starc bowled one of the greatest spells in World Cup history as he gave New Zealand a major scare when the two nations met in their group stage match on February 28 in Auckland. Having been bundled out for 151, Australia needed a miracle to win and Starc almost provided it as he bulldozed through the Black Caps’ batting line-up in magnificent fashion that left even the most die-hard New Zealand fans in awe.
Courtesy of Starc’s efforts with the ball, Australia were just one run wicket away from an incredible come-from-behind win, but it was not to be as New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson smashed a six straight down the ground to lead New Zealand to a nervy, but memorable win nonetheless. Despite this, all cricket fans would’ve taken their hats off to Starc for making the match an entertaining encounter that kept everyone on the edge of their seats.
© Cricket World 2016